During a Sunday morning jaunt around Frederiksted – the small, sleepy, seaside town a mile away, brought somewhat to life for the sake of a visiting cruise ship – in search of an iced coffee and some socialization for Juno (loyal canine companion), I barely glanced at the heavy rain clouds amassing along the hilltops inland. Continuing our amble through the town – stopping at frequent intervals for Juno to declare her love to every passerby and canine-deprived tourist – along the waterfront, the water clear and calm, perusing several small stores, chatting with friends and assisting lost tourists…finally settling in the bustling courtyard of Polly’s to sip on an iced mocha…the sun shone. Upon the tourists, the vendors selling jewelry, nick-knacks, and t-shirts, upon the group of five stray dogs who ducked into an alleyway, upon the rooster sauntering down Strand Street, upon the historic buildings, their facades faded to pastel hues, the sun shone.
Just a mile away there existed an entirely different world. A world where the plants reached up to meet raindrops, few at first, large, heavy drops, rapidly becoming an impenetrable tropical downfall. Roots swelled beneath the soil, drinking in the rains until–the thirst of a drought-ridden year quenched–they let the water go, running first in rivulets, then streams, down every slope, into every gully, rushing, rushing towards the sea.
The mongoose pokes out his nose, from the dry shelter of a massive fallen tree. He sniffs the air, taking in the fresh new world. There will be good hunting today, as the small critters abandon their burrows, sipping raindrops from fallen leaves, drying their wings in now-gentle sunlight.